The Man in the Backseat
A collection of short stories centered around characters in and from Virginia in a post-September 11th America. The characters, their despairs, hopes, and hopelessness are a product of a society that has watched horrible, life-altering events unfold on television, vowed to change their ways for the better, and then either forgotten that vow or become lost in the quest for how to change. Each main character is placed in either absurd or extreme situations that forces them to reexamine their lives and what they believe as truth. The central story of the collection, “The Man in the Backseat" is the story of a man who struggles to find meaning in his father’s suicide. “Martha Bullfinch and the Easter Bunny" is a dark comedy on paralyzing depression and hope. “Undressing Elvis" is a story about despair and the desire to better oneself. “Blue Yodels and Amber Ales" is a story about survival. “The Other Side of the Dunes" examines ideas of perception and “The Last Fair Deal Gone Down" is a story about memory, love, and loss. Iconic American music is a central theme that weaves its way through the stories. It’s used as a metaphor for the past, both of the characters and the society they live in. The music embodies memories both good and bad. In these stories and their characters’ personal searches for meaning, I hope to have found some truths about human nature and the desperate hope for change and meaning in a post-September 11th society.